22 February 2017

Industry: Fincantieri's commitment to grow in Australia

Fincantieri’s SEA 5000 Frigate (Click Image to Enlarge)
A company delegation in Sydney to support the tender for the SEA 5000 programme

Trieste, February 21, 2017 – The Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono, together with the General Manager, Alberto Maestrini, took part in a series of high level institutional meetings in Sydney.

The industrial mission comes under Fincantieri’s participation in the Future Frigates - SEA 5000 programme, for which the company has been shortlisted to deliver nine future generation frigates for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Worth at around $35 billion, this program is one of the most important naval surface shipbuilding projects in the world, in which Fincantieri is ready to put its capabilities through transfer of technology at the service of the Australian Government and its Navy.

News Report: India Sanctions Engine Repair Facility for Naval Carrier Aircraft MiG 29K

MiG-29K Fighter on the deck of INS Vikramaditya
Indian Navy has announced a tender for 57 multi-role carrier borne fighters. Russian Aircraft has announced its willingness to participate in this bid.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – In a bid to improve serviceability of carrier aircraft MiG 29K, Indian government has decided to set up an ‘intermediate’ engine repair facility for MiG 29k fighter jets at the Indian Navy base at Goa. Indian Navy has 45 such jets that operate from sea-borne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov i.e INS Vikramaditya. Russia has completed the delivery of all the contracted fourth generation multi role fighters in 2016.

“This was a long overdue measure. There was always an understanding between India and Russia that once these aircrafts come, a repair facility will be installed but somehow it got delayed. Indian Navy was pressurizing to government for more than 2-3 years for repair facility in Goa where squadron is based. As we know that serviceability of MiG 29K jets is very low and Indian Navy was struggling to find spare parts for the aircraft, sanctioning of this repair facility is definitely a welcome step,” says Indian Naval Commander Abhijit Singh (retired).

News Report: India Government Opposes MP's Call to Declare Pakistan a 'Terrorist Nation'

India has lost 26 soldiers in different encounters with terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – Indian government has decided to oppose a move of an Indian parliamentarian to declare Pakistan a “terror state” through a draft law introduced in Upper House in the first week of this month. India’s Ministry of Home Affairs has written a letter to Upper House Secretariat against the Bill as it consider such attempt by a Parliamentarian will imperil relations with neighbor countries.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, member of India’s Upper House, had proposed a draft law which seeks approval from members to declare countries like Pakistan a terrorist state.

“India and other countries in the region have been victims of numerous terror attacks from organizations and individuals based in and with the support of elements in Pakistan. Despite undeniable evidence, incontrovertible evidence and widespread desire of the people of India, we have continued to engage Pakistan diplomatically, culturally and economically in a meaningless engagement. These meaningless dialogues have exposed one fundamental reality that Pakistan state will not do anything unless they are coerced to do so,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.

News Report: India to Add 42 Radar Stations for Surveillance in Western Coast

In the backdrop of frequent movement of rival naval ships and increased risk of terrorist attacks from sea, India has expedited the second phase of coastal surveillance scheme.

New Delhi (Sputnik) – Indian government has sanctioned $120.2 million for 42 coastal radar chains, including 4 mobile ones to supplement the existing 46, installed after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Defense sources says that Defense Acquisition Council chaired by India's Minister of Defense has approved the much awaited proposal of Indian Navy on Tuesday whereas it will integrate ships to 38 additional radar and four mobile radar stations along western coasts close to Pakistan.

Works have been assigned to government owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) which will take cooperation from private industries as well.

News Report: NGOs - Pakistan Government Restrictions Hamper Campaigns to Curb Militancy

Madeeha Anwar

Aid agencies in Pakistan’s restive northwestern region are struggling to provide services to help curb militancy and deliver aid because they lack government permission to operate, according to humanitarian organizations.

The aid groups say the government is creating obstacles for them to obtain a "No Objection Certificate" (NOC) in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which has been hard-hit by militancy and terrorism. The certificate is a requirement for an organization to work in the area.

“Getting an NOC is almost impossible in the areas where military operations are currently ongoing,” Tahira Abdullah, a human rights activist in Pakistan, told VOA.

Humanitarian and aid organizations are required to have the document, which is a form of approval from the provincial government prior to starting projects in the region.

Foreign-funded local organizations in northwestern Pakistan provide humanitarian and emergency assistance, including health, education, and food distribution, to more than two million people who have been displaced by ongoing Pakistani military operations against militant groups.

Some of the local organizations help teach programs on empowering women and young people that are designed to help curb a spreading extremist ideology among Pakistani youth.

For the past few years, obtaining NOCs has increasingly become harder for aid agencies in Pakhtunkhwa, according to the NGOs. They say the restrictions have adversely affected aid effectiveness in the militancy-torn region.

“There are more than 15 aid agencies waiting for issuance of ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Pakhtunkhwa government for over seven months now,” Sher Zaman, provincial program manager for the South Asia Partnership Pakistan organization, told VOA. The process should not take more than two to three months according to government regulations, Zaman said.

News Report: Suicide Attack on Pakistani Courthouse Kills 7

Ayaz Gul

ISLAMABAD — A suicide gun-and-bomb attack on a courthouse in northwestern Pakistan Tuesday killed at least seven people and wounded 30 others.

Police and witnesses said three gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed the courthouse in the town of Charsadda and lobbed hand grenades to try to enter the main building.

District police chief Sohail Khalid told reporters security guards swiftly challenged the assailants, prompting two of them to detonate their vests during the gunfight while the third attacker was gunned down.

"They tried to enter the courts. At first they attacked with hand grenades and pistols. The police retaliated for about 15 or 20 minutes, and all the suicide bombers exploded after they were hit by the police,” said Khalid

A lawyer, policemen and civilians were among the dead, police and hospital officials said.

News Story: China displays trimaran frigate design

By: Christopher P. Cavas

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Navies have flirted with exotic hull forms for decades, and the US Navy is producing Independence-class littoral combat ships with a wave-piercing trimaran hull form. Now the Chinese Navy seems to be preparing a trimaran design that could enter production as a frigate for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and for export. 

“We are in the development and design phase of the project,” said You Yue, China Shipbuilding Trading Company’s deputy director for business development for Western Asia and Africa. “The plan form is fixed but many details remain,” he said. 

The plan form – the trimaran hull – allows the frigate to have a far greater beam than the more conventional monohull configuration. You also noted the ship will feature hull and superstructure shaping to reduce its radar signature. 

A model displayed this week at the IDEX show here in Abu Dhabi combined, You said, many features which could be included in the PLAN’s version or in an export variant and did not necessarily depict a ship now under construction. Final decisions on the power plant, armament, sensor and combat system have yet to be made, he cautioned. 

Data displayed with the model gave a displacement of about 2,450 tons; dimensions of 142 meters in length, 32 meters in beam and a draft of 6.2 meters. The power plant was given as a “marine electric propulsion system” with a speed of 25 knots and endurance of 5,000 nautical miles at 16 knots and 30 days. 

Those figures could change for a production ship, You said, with a speed probably somewhere above 30 knots. He said an all-MTU diesel propulsion plant was being considered, driving three waterjets. 

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: Saudi foreign minister - Iran is the 'biggest state sponsor of terrorism'

By: PR Newswire

WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has called Iran the "biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world." 

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir made the remark Sunday in an address before the Munich Security Conference, citing several covert, political and military actions carried out by Iran to buttress his argument. 

"The Iranians do not believe in the principle of good neighborliness or non-interference in the affairs of others. This is manifested in their interference in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan," he said. 

"We look at the region and we see terrorism and we see a state sponsor of terrorism that is determined to upend the order in the Middle East," he continued. "The Iranians are the only country in the region that has not been attacked by either Daesh or al-Qaida. And this begs the question: Why? If Daesh and al-Qieda are extremist Sunni organizations, you would think they would be attacking Iran, a Shiite state. But they have not. Could it be that there's a deal between them that prevents them or causes them not to attack the Iranians? This is a question that we keep asking ourselves." 

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. 

Read the full story at DefenseNews


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PacificSentinel: Iran is no angle, but neither is Saudi Arabia, their just on opposite sides of the religious coin, both as bad as each other; has ISIS attacked Iran, no, why, because Iran has sent troops to help their puppet state Syria defeat ISIS (with lots of other nations involved in the fight as well), and it's working; as for Saudi Arabia, remind me who formed Al-Qieda again and where he was from...there's an old saying about glasses houses and throwing stones that the Saudi's really should look into!

News Story: Israeli PM arrives in Sydney for talks with Australian leaders

SYDNEY, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Sydney on Wednesday amid tight security for a four-day visit.

"I'm proud to be the first Israeli prime minister to make an official visit to Australia," he said after arrival.

"I always remember it was Australian light horse that liberated Beersheba, an old, old city in our history and we have been friends -- extraordinary friends -- ever since."

The purpose of his visit is to further the two countries'1.2 billion Australian dollar (0.92 billion U.S. dollars) trade arrangements and expand cooperation in technology research, with cyber-security high on the agenda.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: China, India pledge stronger ties

BEIJING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with Indian Foreign Secretary Subramanyam Jaishankar on Tuesday, calling for stronger ties between the two neighbors.

Yang said China is willing to work with India to implement the consensus reached by the two countries' leaders, maintain high-level exchanges and enhance strategic communication and practical cooperation, according to a press release.

Read the full story at Xinhua